ARA Independent Oil Product Stocks Inch up (Week 17 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area edged up during the week to 28 April, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Gasoil stocks were up, but they were still around a third below the five-year average for this time of year. Tankers carrying gasoil arrived in ARA from India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the US, and departed for Germany, Spain and the UK.

Jet fuel stocks fell on the week, as air travel in Europe continues to pick up. But jet fuel demand has not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, and ARA jet stocks still higher than the same period of 2019. Tankers carrying jet fuel arrived from Russia and departed for the UK.

Gasoline stocks dipped on the week above the five-year average as product is held in storage awaiting blending components before the peak summer demand season. Tankers carrying gasoline departed ARA for the Mediterranean, Mexico, Africa and the US and arrived from France, Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the UK.

Naphtha stocks rose on the week. There were no outgoing cargoes, as the eastward arbitrage to Asia-Pacific closed. Tankers carrying naphtha arrived from Algeria, Brazil, Norway, Russia and the US.

Fuel oil stocks also rose slightly, with cargoes arriving in ARA from Germany, Russia and the UK. Tankers departed from Germany, Spain, the Mediterranean and the UAE.

Reporter: Bea O’Kelly

ARA Independent Oil Product Stocks Fall (Week 16 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 20 April, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Backwardation across the refined oil product markets continues to give European market participants little incentive to store product in rented tanks. Independent stocks remained, led by falls in gasoil and jet fuel inventories.

Gasoil stocks fell to their lowest since April 2014, owing to steep backwardation in the underlying Ice gasoil contract. Tankers arrived from Finland, Qatar, Russia, France and the UK, and flows of barges up the river Rhine fell to their lowest since February 2020, when the river was impassable owing to high water levels.

Spot trading activity is low, with European majors happy to supply end-users from their own refineries and avoid unnecessary trades. Jet fuel stocks fell weighed down by a rise in consumption over the Easter weekend.

Tankers departed the ARA area for the UK, Ireland and Norway, while none arrived.

Stocks of all other surveyed product groups rose. Gasoline stocks were up, as frenetic blending activity outweighed a rise in outflows to destinations across the Atlantic. Tankers also departed for the Mediterranean and west Africa, and arrived from Italy, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Naphtha stocks rose, as supplies lengthened in the region. Low interest from Asia-Pacific in Mediterranean cargoes has prompted an increase in inflows from the Mediterranean to the ARA area, and cargoes have also been making their way in from the US Gulf coast, France, Russia and Spain.

Fuel oil stocks rose, with regional demand and outflows to the Mediterranean and west Africa broadly balancing out the arrival of cargoes from Algeria, Estonia, the Mediterranean, Poland, Russia and Sweden.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

ARA Independent Oil Product Stocks Fall (Week 13 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 30 March, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Tightness in oil products supply gave market participants little incentive to store material at independent tank facilities, bringing overall stocks close to the seven-year lows recorded in mid-February.

Loading and discharge delays were heard around the ARA area, aggravated by refinery maintenance turnarounds in the region concentrating loadings at relatively few terminals.

Gasoil stocks fell to reach six-week lows, weighed down the departure of tankers for Germany and west Africa. Barge flows to destinations along the river Rhine were broadly steady on the week.

Loading restrictions prompted by low water levels reduced the number of barges available to spot charterers, as two or more barges are currently needed to move the same volume as is usually possible on just one. Seagoing tankers arrived from Russia and the US.

Gasoline stocks were stable on the week. Blending activity continued apace, stimulated by the production of new summer-grade fuel. Tankers arrived from Denmark, Finland, France, Italy and Spain, and departed for Canada, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, the US and west Africa.

Naphtha stocks fell, amid ample demand from gasoline blenders that contributed to the loading and discharge delays in the regional barge market. Tankers arrived from Finland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the US, and departed for the Mediterranean.

Jet fuel stocks rose, reaching their highest since September 2021 as part of seasonal restocking ahead of the summer season. A single tanker arrived in the ARA area from the UAE while cargoes departed for the UK.

Fuel oil stocks fell, with the arrival of cargoes from Estonia, Poland, Russia and Sweden insufficient to offset the departure of cargoes for the Mediterranean, the UK and west Africa.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

ARA oil product stocks steady (Week 12 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 23 March, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

A general slowdown in the spot trading of most major refined oil products helped preclude major swings in inventory levels. Many participants in the European market are reluctant to handle Russian cargoes, although cargoes do continue to flow into the ARA area, particularly from the Baltic. Barge loading and discharge delays of several days were heard around Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, further slowing the trade in refined products.

Gasoil stocks rose, supported by the arrival of tankers from India, Qatar, Russia, Turkey and the US. Barge flows to destinations along the river Rhine rose on the week. Loading restrictions prompted by low water levels reduced the number of barges available to spot charterers, as two or more barges are currently needed to move the same volume as was possible a few weeks ago with a single vessel.

The scarcity of barges is leading some charterers to book vessels and then find something to load it with, rather than the other way about which is more typical. Seagoing tankers departed for the Mediterranean, Poland and the UK.

Gasoline stocks rose, bolstered by the arrival of tankers from Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the UK. The level of blending activity in the region is increasing as part of the transition to summer-grade gasoline during the coming weeks. Tankers departed for the US and west Africa.

Naphtha stocks fell, weighed down by an increase in demand from gasoline blenders that contributed to the loading discharge delays in the regional barge market. Tankers arrived from Algeria, Russia, Spain and the US, while none departed.

Jet fuel stocks rose, supported by the rare arrival of a cargo from the US, as well as at least one from Russia, while tankers departed for Ireland and the UK. Fuel oil stocks fell, with the arrival of cargoes from Denmark, Estonia, Poland, Russia and Sweden insufficient to offset the departure of cargoes for the Mediterranean and the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

Russian Cargoes Swell ARA Oil Product Stocks (Week 11 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area rose during the week to 16 March, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Cargoes of refined products from Russia continued to flow into Europe during the week, in a further sign that fears of widespread disruption to supply are not being borne out. Cargoes of gasoil, gasoline components, naphtha and fuel oil all arrived into the ARA area, either as part of trades or as part of efforts to move Russian cargoes into longer-term storage.

Gasoline recorded the most significant week on week increase on the week, owing to a slowdown in exports. No tankers departed for the US, but some gasoline did depart for Canada, the Mediterranean and west Africa. Tankers arrived from Finland, Latvia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the UK.

Naphtha stocks rose by a similar percentage, supported by the arrival of cargoes from Algeria, Bulgaria, Latvia, Russia and the UK. The arrival of a Black Sea cargo into northwest Europe is rare and reflects the unviability of the arbitrage route from the Black Sea to Asia-Pacific, forcing Black Sea cargoes to find homes elsewhere.

Gasoil stocks fell, with tankers arriving from Russia and departing for France, Portugal and the UK. Flows to destinations along the river Rhine were inhibited by low water levels on the river Rhine, which prevented barges heading to upper Rhine destinations from loading to capacity.

Fuel oil stocks fell, holding broadly steady on the week. Cargoes arrived from Denmark, Poland and Russia, and departed for the Mediterranean and the UK.

Jet fuel stocks rose, supported by the arrival of cargoes from China, India and Kuwait.

Cargoes also departed for the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

ARA Oil Product Stocks Fall Close to Seven-Year Lows (week 10 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week, approaching the seven-year low recorded at the end of February, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventories of all surveyed products except naphtha declined amid steep backwardation in the underlying crude futures market. Europe’s middle distillate markets have been affected particularly severely by the response on western governments to Russia’s military action in Ukraine, but there was little sign of a drop in Russian flows into ARA during the week, with some spot cargoes traded prior to sanctions being imposed on Moscow able to finish their journeys unhindered.

Low water levels, rising bunker fuel prices and firm demand supported freight rates on the river Rhine. The prospect of a further fall in water levels exerted pressure on traders to move barges inland.

Naphtha inventories rose to reach their highest levels since September 2021. Tankers carrying naphtha arrived in ARA from Algeria, Libya, Norway, Russia, the UK and the US.

Regional buyers are likely to turn to Mediterranean cargoes to replace naphtha from the Russian Baltic, which is becoming increasingly difficult to import because of finance restrictions and challenges securing vessels.

Stocks of all other products fell. Gasoil inventories dropped, with cargoes arriving from Russia and departing for the UK. The middle distillate markets are especially dependent on imported Russian cargoes, and European buyers are turning to sellers elsewhere to meet any shortfall.

Gasoline stocks fell to reach their lowest since January. The blending of summer-grade cargoes increased the volume of gasoline and components moving around the ARA area on barges, prompting some discharge delays. Seagoing tankers arrived in ARA with gasoline from Denmark, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK, and departed for Angola, Canada, South Africa, the UK, the US and west Africa.

Jet fuel stocks declined, with no cargoes arriving in ARA and at least one departing for the UK. Fuel oil stocks dropped, with cargoes arriving from Estonia, France, Ireland and Russia, and departing for the Mediterranean and west Africa.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

Independent ARA Stocks Rise From Seven-Year Lows (Week 9 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area rose during the week to 2 March, having fallen to seven-year lows a week earlier, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventories of all surveyed products rose on the week, albeit from a notably low base. Steep backwardation particularly in the Ice gasoil forward curve brought inventories to their lowest since December 2014 at the end of February.

But market participants are now building stocks despite high prompt premiums across the barrel, owing to sudden uncertainty in the immediate future of supply from Russian outlets.

Northwest Europe is heavily dependent on some refined products from the Russian Baltic, and traders in the region have been working to guarantee their supply both from Russia and elsewhere while there are still spare cargoes on offer. Gasoline inventories were probably also supported by the need to begin producing summer-grade gasoline for export to the US.

Naphtha is a key blending component in summer-grade gasoline, and naphtha inventories almost doubled on the week, as cargoes arrived from Algeria, Greece, Norway, Russia, Spain and the US.

Gasoline stocks were supported by the arrival of cargoes from Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK. The increase in gasoline blending activity prompted loading delays of several days for gasoline and component barges, particularly around the key blending hub of Amsterdam.

Gasoil stocks rose, despite barge flows from the ARA area to destinations along the river Rhine rising to four-week highs. Falling Rhine water levels have prompted some market participants inland to bring in gasoil from the ARA area despite the steep backwardation, purely in order to guarantee supply.

Seagoing tankers arrived in the ARA area from Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and departed for Denmark, France and west Africa.

Fuel oil inventories rose, supported by the arrival of cargoes from Estonia, Poland, Russia and the UK. No cargoes departed for destinations east of Suez, but tankers did depart for west Africa and the Mediterranean. Jet fuel stocks rose, and tankers departed for Sweden and the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

Independent ARA Stocks Hit Fresh Seven-Year Lows (Week 8 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 23 February to reach their lowest since December 2014, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventories of all surveyed products except gasoil fell on the week, bringing overall stock levels to fresh seven-year lows. Gasoil stocks rose, having reached their lowest since April 2014 a week earlier amid steep backwardation in the Ice gasoil market.

The slight rise in inventories was caused by a diminution of barge flows to destinations along the river Rhine, which fell to fresh one-year lows as market participants inland sought to avoid building up their own inventories. Gasoil cargoes arrived from Russia and Qatar, and departed for Argentina, Germany and the UK.

Inventories of all other products fell during the week. Gasoline stocks ticked down, weighed down by a rise in flows to the US. Tankers also departed for Angola, Argentina, Canada, the Mediterranean, Mexico and west Africa.

The level of barge activity appeared to increase on the week, as market participants worked to produce export cargoes. Tankers containing finished grade gasoline and components arrived from Finland, France, Poland, Portugal and the UK.

Naphtha stocks fell heavily, weighed down by the increase in gasoline blending activity, to reach their lowest since June 2016 despite the arrival of cargoes from Algeria, Italy, Norway and the UK.

Naphtha consumption within the ARA was supported by the demand from gasoline blenders. Jet fuel stocks fell, amid a rise in demand as easing Covid-19 restrictions combined with school holidays to increase the level of civil aviation. A single cargo arrived from India while at least one departed for Norway.

Fuel oil stocks fell to reach their lowest since March 2020. Tankers arrived from Germany, the Mediterranean, Russia, Sweden and the UK, and departed for the Mediterranean and west Africa.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

Independent ARA Product Stocks Hit Seven-Year Lows (Week 7 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 16 February, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventories of all surveyed products except jet fuel fell on the week, bringing overall stock levels to their lowest since December 2014. Gasoil stocks fell to their lowest since April that year, amid steep backwardation in the Ice gasoil market.

Market participants around northwest Europe have been seeking to draw down their gasoil inventories in response to relatively low forward prices, even reducing production to avoid accumulating more product in tank.

Flows of gasoil from the ARA area to destinations along the river Rhine fell to their lowest in a year as a result, as market participants inland sought to avoid bringing in any more material than necessary.

Tankers departed the ARA area for Argentina, the UK, Uruguay and the US.

Flows of gasoline component barges into the ARA area rose in contrast, as traders worked to produce cargoes of finished-grade gasoline to send to west Africa.

The rejection of around five cargoes of European gasoline by Nigerian authorities early in February stimulated blenders to create several replacement cargoes, supporting prices of gasoline and blending component naphtha.

Tankers arrived from Denmark, France, Ireland, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the UK, and departed for east Africa, the Mediterranean, Panama, the US and west Africa.

Naphtha stocks fell heavily as a result of the rise in gasoline blending activity, dropping by more than a quarter. No tankers departed the region and cargoes arrived from Algeria, Norway, Russia, the UK and the US.

Jet fuel stocks were the only surveyed product group to record a week on week rise, increasing. A single cargo arrived from Finland while one also departed for the UK.

Steady bunker fuel demand helped bring fuel oil stocks down on the week to reach their lowest since March 2020.

Tankers departed the region for the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

Independent ARA Product Stocks Fall (Week 6 – 2022)

Independently-held oil product inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell during the week to 9 February, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventories of most surveyed product groups were broadly steady on the week, with the total dragged lower by a heavier decline in fuel oil stocks. Fuel oil inventories fell, with cargoes departing for the Mediterranean and the UAE.

Fuel oil stock levels are typically more volatile than those of other products as the average cargo size is larger, particularly for exports. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Denmark, Estonia, France, Poland and Russia.

Overall inventory levels in the region were not significantly affected by a cyberattack on some storage terminals which began on 29 January.

Market participants suggested that the affected terminals had returned to normal operations by yesterday.

Gasoil stocks rose slightly, but remained close to the eight-year lows recorded a week earlier. Steep backwardation in the Ice gasoil market means there is little incentive to store cargoes, and tankers departed the region for Denmark, France, the UK and the US, in a reversal of the usual flow of trade in the north Atlantic.

The flow of barges to destinations along the river Rhine fell on the week, with terminals along the Rhine more greatly affected by the cyber-attack than those in the ARA area. Cargoes arrived from Russia and Sweden.

Gasoline stocks fell back from 10-month highs. There was some limited increase in the movement of blending components, following the rejection by Nigerian authorities of several gasoline cargoes during the week.

Tankers arrived into the region from France, Finland, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the UK, and departed for Argentina and Canada.

Naphtha stocks in ARA rose, to reach their highest level since early December. Demand from along the river Rhine was low, with some petrochemical producers in the region currently minimising their intake of naphtha owing to its high price relative to lighter alternatives. Tankers arrived from Algeria, Norway, Russia, the UK and the US, while none departed.

Jet fuel stocks were broadly steady for the third consecutive week, with no cargoes arriving and none departing.

Reporter: Thomas Warner